Multiplication Tables, Poetry, and the Green Knight

In much the same fashion as a post I wrote three years ago entitled “Salmon, Buoyancy and Corrie ten Boom“,  I’d like to record here some instances when something we are learning comes up in the different subjects or programs we are using without our orchestrating it that way. I consider these experiences a cause to pause in delight as I remind myself that the Lord is my guide in this endeavour to disciple my children in the homeschooling context.

This school year that began in September has been particular challenging due to my youngest’s (2nd grader) struggle with reading.  I have had to expend a lot of time and energy finding out more about his condition and implementing solutions to overcome it.

I set out this year to do Sonlight Core 2 (now Core C), Intro to World History, Year 2 of 2 with this child. We own the advanced readers that accompany this core but after attempting the first reader in the fall (A Question of Yams), I quickly realised they were going to be too difficult for this son. Instead, I borrowed the exact titles or alternate ones from the public library using the regular Grade 2 Readers list as guide. I’m glad though I decided to purchase the Beginners Bible; my second grader doesn’t seem to get tired of it. He doesn’t seem to get enough of reading the Bible in general. Recently, I just finished reading aloud to him another version given to us (The Jesus Storybook Bible).

This has definitely prepared my youngest as we dig in the Word some more.  We didn’t feel like getting back to the last unit of Bible Study Guide for All Ages after the long break we took from it to give way to our Tapestry of Grace Yr 1 Worldview. Meantime, a friend had mentioned Bible Road Trip to me recently. The first five weeks of this Bible survey can be downloaded by anyone for free and so I am trying it out and using it with the 2nd, 6th, and 8th graders.  We already own some of the suggested resources and so we took off as soon as I looked the program over.  We are currently excited to head into Week 3 of Year 1 after having learned in the past 2 weeks what the Bible is, how it came to us, and how important the Old Testament is through passages and resources we read/discussed as well as verses we have memorised.

I’ve also been reading The Child’s History of the World (CHOW) to my 7-year old. It’s a Sonlight Core 2 History read aloud that I overlooked, my youngest anxious to get through Aesop for Children and A Child’s Garden of Verses earlier in the year. I actually never read CHOW to the first 4 children I have done Core 2 with, replacing it with the four volumes of The Story of the World (SOTW) instead. Having read portions of SOTW 1 and 2 (as scheduled by our Tapestry of Grace Y1 and Y2 readings) to my youngest in the past, I find that the content of CHOW  is much less detailed, more connected, easier to follow, and therefore more appropriate for this child who has a bit of a struggle with reading (and doesn’t have the fondness for history his older siblings had). I’ve also been enjoying reading the book aloud for the first time.

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I decided to read this book aloud from the beginning even if we were officially doing Core 2 studies which opens in the middle ages. However, chapters on this period of history are now coming up in our readings this past weeks.

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As well, I have thus far finished reading aloud to my second grader the following literature books included in Core 2:

  1. Aesop for Children
  2. A Child’s Garden of Verses
  3. Red Sails to Capri
  4. Ginger Pye
  5. Minstrel in the Tower (read last year for TOG Y2)
  6. Castle Diary
  7. The Cricket in Times Square

We were supposed to read Tales of Robin Hood after Castle Diary but my 7-year old found listening to me read the first few passages challenging so we skipped to The Cricket in Times Square which he found quite interesting. As he was reading one of the easy readers I picked up from the library, my son noticed an easy reader version based on this classic and asked if we could check it out.

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Right now, we’re on to our next literature read aloud, A Door in the Wall. And it was while in the midst of this book that we began reading about the Germanic invasions, feudal system, castles, and knights in CHOW.  Robin’s story set in the backdrop of the plague, the life of lords and ladies, as well as the monks who have taken as their task the copying of sacred writings (as we read in our Bible resource “How the Bible Came to Us” as part of the Bible Road Trip program) reinforced our history readings.

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Coming across the passage about the Green Knight’s challenge to the knights of the Round Table of Camelot in our Writing with Ease 1 copy work and narration lessons, we were curious to find out the rest of the story.  Fortunately, there was one children’s version in our library system and I put that on hold immediately.  So happens the book became available just as we began our middle ages readings. We finished this one in a week.

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In the same way his Bible, history, literature readings have all been connecting, my second grader’s studies in math have also all been leading to multiplication.  He is a few lessons short of completing Saxon Math 2 while it has been a few weeks since beginning the second half of Singapore Math’s Primary Mathematics 2A. In both these programs, he is mastering multiplying by 3’s right now.

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Similarly, my eighth grader recently had an opportunity to test what he has been learning in our Classical Writing Poetry for Beginners lessons while taking his Rod & Staff English 8 unit test.  We mostly skip the composition lessons in Rod & Staff English.  Instead, my 8th and 6th graders began the year doing their own writing programs.  Older was attempting to go through Writing with Skill 2 after having completed the first level while younger was finishing up Classical Writing Homer B.  Both were having a bit of difficulty without my supervision and I was admittedly too preoccupied helping out the youngest with his reading struggle. But as soon as I saw some improvement in my youngest’s reading and spelling, the older ones and I decided we shelve their current writing programs and do poetry together.  So for writing, we have all been learning from CW Poetry for Beginners and, at this tme, just completed week 7 of our studies.

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My 8th grader was happy to show me he didn’t have to skip the composition/poetry questions in his Rod and Staff English test as they happen to be what he has been learning thru Classical Writing. Similarly, my 6th grader was just glad to be working on a Rod and Staff English chapter on adverbs that includes poetry.

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And thus we plod along. Taking one day at a time. We might not get through as much as we’d like to today but we’ll get to it…somehow… in time.  Once again, this past six months since the fall has shown me just that.

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